I was able to taste almost fifty Brunellos from the 2010 vintage. I wasn’t able to find much describing the vintage beforehand, as the wines are just being released, but the few things I’ve read about this vintage made it sound pretty incredible. So I was pretty excited to see what they had to offer. One of the most outspoken about the vintage, wine critic James Suckling, said last month, “The year 2010 for Brunello di Montalcino is the greatest modern vintage of Italy’s most famous red wine region.” And many of the winemakers he spoke with echoed his sentiments. The owner of Brunello producer Valdicava described the 2010 vintage as “a new point for Brunello di Montalcino.” In fact, Suckling has already released scores for several of the wines and has awarded 100 points to six different bottlings.
I’m less inclined than Mr. Suckling to call anything perfect, ever, but it is clear that this is and will continue to be an outstanding vintage. Of the wines I tasted, there were very few duds. And more importantly, I believe there was a wine for everyone. While I’m not a big fan of scores, I am happy to fill you in on some of my favorites.
Siro Pacenti Brunello 2010
This wine is soft and elegant with lots of finesse. All of its flavors are subtle in a way that means no one element outstrips the other. Tobacco, cherry, orange peel, spice, the flavors keep on going, as does the super long finish.
Enzo Tiezzi Brunello Poggio Cerrino 2010
This wine had more a kick than the others, meaning there was a bit of a pop when tasting it. This definitely made it stand out. Its flavors were bright with lots of good acidity making this wine great for drinking now and superb to pair with food.
Poggio Nardone Brunello 2010
This wine was also nice and bright, meaning good acidity and ripe fruit flavors. This wine is another excellent option for drinking now. However, a theme that seemed to come back again and again was that the 2010 Brunellos will drink well now, and, age well for drinking down the road.
Mocali Brunello Vigna Raunate 2010
This was probably one of the top wines of the day. It had superb balance of flavors, that is, nothing overpowered anything else. There was cocoa, orange, spice, earth. A great variety. And this balance held true for the wine components as well. There was just the right amount of acidity, alcohol, tannin, etc. Everything was just right.
La Serena Brunello 2010
The La Serena was just an all around well-made wine. There wasn’t anything particular that stood out about it other than I got the impression this might age better than some of the other wines. It drank very well, and I believe will only get better.
La Ragnaie Brunello Vecchie Vigne 2010
The best way I can describe this wine is attractive to all drinkers. That is, I think those who are unfamiliar with or adverse to brunello will enjoy this wine just as much as those who drink nothing but brunello. It was very well-made, balanced and complex, yet straightforward enough so as to appeal to less experienced drinkers.
Villa i Cipressi Brunello 2010
This wine fit right into the same category as so many others as being so drinkable now yet having the capacity to age for quite some time. And while I have trouble holding on to wines for an extended period of time, I think these wines really will stand up incredibly well. I believe that in another ten or fifteen years, we will be able to see what these wines are truly made of.
Other wines that I think are worth enjoying:
La Colombina Brunello 2010
La Colombina Rosso 2012
San Filippo Brunello 2010
Capanna Brunello 2010
Il Poggione Brunello 2010
Poggio Il Castellare Brunello 2010
Poggio Nardone Rosso 2013